The President of Bulgaria is head of the state and one of the bodies of state power. He is directly elected by voters for a period of 5 years and eligible to be reelected for a second term.

The president represents the country in international relations, concludes international agreements, gives and restores Bulgarian citizenship, appoints ands dismisses senior officials, exercises the right to give amnesty, schedules elections and referenda, supervises the legislative activity of the National Assembly by suspensive veto (the right to return to the National Assembly adopted laws for a fresh round of discussions). The president is the supreme commander of the armed forces of Bulgaria.

Transparency International – Bulgaria launched the first initiative for civil monitoring of the transparency and integrity of the elections for President and Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria in 2001 and 2006. The first two initiatives showed low publicity in the actions of the candidates for President and Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria in terms of financing and conducting their election campaigns.

The initiative of Transparency International – Bulgaria in 2011 includes two main lines of public monitoring:

The first line relates to monitoring the financing of the candidates’ campaigns.  The monitoring covers both formal documents of the presidential candidates, as well as media monitoring results for the last month before the elections. The information gathered will be used to provide a common index for transparency of the election campaigns. For more information, please consult the section “Integrity Pact”.

The second line focuses on monitoring the Election Day polling stations, with the participation of trained observers with the aim to detect possible violations which will be registered in a collective database. The main emphasis is on vote buying and controlled vote prevention – phenomena for the shocking scope of which Transparency International – Bulgaria alerted the public in 2009, during the elections for European Parliament and 41st National Assembly.